How to make a Steakhouse-Quality, Crispy-Skinned Baked Potato like a Pro
We’ve all done it… gone to a steakhouse, ordered the baked potato, and were totally floored by how salty and crispy that skin was. Then you go home, make your own baked potato in foil and wonder why yours are always mush.
We did it too – and it was completely not ok to be making such amazing quality steaks at home, but having sides that fell short of the restaurant-quality show-piece steak on the plate. It had to be dealt with. And as pretty much always, this one took a little trial and error, and you’re getting the final product.
- One large potato per person
- Sea Salt Grinder
- Olive Oil
- Toppings (We like butter, cheddar cheese, bacon bits, sour cream, and chives/green onions)
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Take your potatoes and clean the outsides well – if you plan to eat the skins, it’s not cool to leave behind dirt. This time I was going for the “WOW!” effect of gigantic potatoes, so I went with classic russets. I’ve also done this with larger Yukon gold potatoes and also the larger size of the red potatoes as well – adjust the temperature you bake at down to 400 degrees if you’re choosing to go with a thinner-skinned potato. Check them at about 45 minutes too rather than the hour.
Step 2: Take each clean potato and pierce it deeply with a fork or a knife – this keeps the steam inside of them from blowing in your oven. Trust me, you don’t want to clean that. Then cover each of the potatoes well with ~ 1 tablespoon of olive oil. ***Once you’ve finished the stabbing part, this is a great step to add a second pair of hands to help. Kids can certainly do it, and my husband likes to help here so I can’t b**ch that he never helps with the cooking… We definitely always do this step over the sink for reasons that will be evident to you quickly.
Step 3: Definitely where it helps to have extra hands! Add a generous grinding of salt to all sides of all potatoes. If you want bigger salt grains like some restaurants have, just unscrew the grinder component off of the salt and sprinkle whole salt grains over the potatoes. I like to use a grinder like this one for everything: Sea Salt Grinder
Step 4: Set the potatoes on a middle rack in your preheated oven. They should go straight onto the rack. I keep an old cruddy cookie sheet from a toaster to catch any of the salt grains and some times drips that fall. You can get one at the dollar store if you don’t have one or this one on Amazon.com is stupid cheap as well if you’re lazy like me and don’t like going to the store: Cheap Small Cookie Sheet. For larger potatoes, I bake them for an hour, then use a knife to see how tender they are. I usually leave an extra 20ish minutes cook time just in case they aren’t ready when I plan so we can always have them with the steak when it’s ready to go. If they’re done before the food, I usually shut the oven off and leave them in there to stay hot, but fair warning, they will dry out if you leave them in there too long like that. Keep the standing time in the oven to ~20 minutes or less.
Step 5: In the last 5-10 minutes of your potatoes baking, start getting your toppings ready to go. We always like chives or green onions on top and they need to be sliced up. I use chives when they’re in my garden because they’re less onion-y, but when I don’t have those, the green and white parts of a green onion or two work great. Just fyi, the white parts of the green onion are more onion-y to me if you’re not so much of an onion fan.
Step 6: Crack your taters open and get with the toppings! So don’t laugh, but my teenage job was working at a Wendy’s, and that’s where I learned to crack and fluff a potato so they look amazing. Here’s how you do it: Cut a slice down the long side of the potato.
Then, take a pair of tongs (so you don’t burn your hands! LOVE LOVE LOVE my New Silicone Ones!!!) and press the two far ends toward each other. This causes the sides to move out and all of that hot potato amazingness on the inside to fluff out and up.
Now you’ve got this perfect bed for piling a butt-load of fattening toppings onto. w00t!
Step 7: ADD THE TOPPINGS! It may seem crazy, but there’s a method to how you order things to maximize awesomeness (heat melting cheese, etc). It’s worth it, I promise! Start with butter if you’re a butter person – I am not, but he is. Life’s good, skip what you don’t want as you go.
Then the shredded cheddar cheese.
Then bacon bits. Fresh is always better if you’ve got it, but I’m really fond of these “fresh-crumbled” bits that are in the salad isle at Kroger. They’re on Amazon too if you don’t have a Kroger: Premium Real Crumbled Bacon Bits Definitely don’t get the creepy crispy neon ones that look like Nerds candy. Ain’t nobody’s got time for that disappointment.
Next, sour cream.
And finally the chives or onions!
Damn, that looks delicious!!!
Obvi, it totally was because I didn’t even wait for the cheese to melt before shooting these photos… I literally couldn’t help myself!
Step 8: Enjoy! Of course you can’t have a Steakhouse Baked Potato without an epic steak! I paired this one with my filet mignon recipe and the infamous wine reduction sauce! It’s also pretty baller with a colossal man-steak like a ribeye too, and certainly never ceases to amaze my man-child on our at-home date nights!